Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) has started diverting patients from their emergency room to other area hospitals.
Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson said the decision was made by JRMC owner Rennova Health Systems due to a lack of supplies.
“They can’t admit anyone to the ER at the hospital, but the ER is open,” Johnson said. “The ER staff, radiology lab, and doctors are there at the hospital… If anyone needs to go to the hospital they can walk into the emergency room, but no one new is going into the hospital.”
The decision to divert patients comes less than a week after state and federal agencies nearly closed the hospital for not paying the IRS due funds.
Johnson said neither the county nor the state can assist JRMC financially and keep it running.
“Do we wish for the hospital to be closed? No, we do not,” Johnson said. “Do we think that it’s being run appropriately? No, we don’t think it’s being run appropriately, but with it being a private entity, Fentress County has no say in how that entity’s run.”
Johnson said he has talked with Rennova President and CEO Seamus Lagan regarding the future of JRMC.
“I talk with the owner – that I presume is in Ireland – and he says they definitely have no intentions of selling the hospital at this time,” Johnson said. “We’re going to be under this diversion and hopefully they can get their supply stock back up in a few days and business can get back to usual and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
A 2017 press release from Rennova indicates the company as a whole has struggled financially for the last two years. Public penny stock shares are valued at less than one percent of a single cent, a decrease from $3.25 this time last year.
Calls to the hospital’s administrative staff have gone unanswered, although an employee at the hospital stated business was operating as usual. Officials at Rennova Health Systems have not responded to phone calls regarding the hospital’s status.